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10th March 2023

Announcing the newest awards of the Biosphere Certification Mark

Paul Osborne, Director of The Biking Explorers, with his bike and tent.

It’s a huge privilege to make this announcement twice each year, as we recognise the incredibly hard work that independent local enterprises are doing to embed sustainability in their operations.

Newly certified in 2023 are:

Craigengillan Estate, Dalmellington – organic farming, forestry, and holiday accommodation on a historic estate, where the team use local suppliers, renewable resources, and encourage visitors to explore wildlife and sites of archaeological interest.

Biosphere Certification Mark logo.Lean Bean, Thornhill – A café and refill shop providing high quality, healthy and sustainable food and drink, which promotes the circular economy through recycling, composting, and reducing packaging and waste.

Little Tahall Farm, Kirkinner – Nature-friendly smallholding where sheep are raised for meat and wool and guests staying at The Granary – an eco-friendly self-catering cottage – are able to get closer to GSAB’s amazing biodiversity.

The Biking Explorers, Girvan – Headed by trained Biosphere Guide Paul Osborne (shown here in our featured image), The Biking Explorers offers tours and bikepacking adventures for all ages and abilities, with a focus on local heritage and exploring with the ethos of ‘Leave No Trace’.

Glentrool Hive, Glentrool – A multi-purpose activity and community centre that facilitates education as well as cultural and wellbeing events, and which offers sustainable, accessible self-catering accommodation in this Biosphere Community.

We’re also celebrating the renewal of certification for five current award-holders:

The Barholm Centre, self-catering accommodation provided by a community-led initative at Creetown; Creeside Escape, a shepherd’s hut getaway at Barrhill; Galloway Cycling Holidays, providing guided tours, itineraries, and gravel adventures across D&G; Ross Bay Retreat, cosy coastal cottages at Borgue; and Garroch Glen Shepherds’ Huts at St John’s Town of Dalry.

The Biosphere Certification Mark is a trademarked quality scheme which GSAB launched in 2018 and which now covers seven business sectors. Our aim is to create a diverse and well-connected network of innovative, eco-friendly enterprises, and to facilitate collaboration and knowledge-exchange (as an example, take a look at Shared Passions – unique Biosphere experiences delivered by certified businesses working with Biosphere Guides). We also provide marketing support via our social media platforms and Green Stories resources. Those awarded certification are spotlighted on Scotland’s UNESCO Trail, a singular opportunity to reach an international audience that is increasingly environmentally-aware.

An area planted for wildlife at Little Tahall Farm
Little Tahall Farm
Glentrool Hive

With the announcement of these awards and renewals, there are now 46 Biosphere-certified businesses in southwest Scotland. Applications are also open for potential new members of the scheme. The first (essential) step is to sign-up as a Proud Supporter. If you’d like to chat more about certification, the assessment process and/or potential benefits for your business, please contact GSAB’s Business Development lead, Marie McNulty, via

Get involved - become a Proud Supporter